With the Tremains Art Deco Festival approaching like a fast-moving train, the Hastings District Council, the Hastings Host Lions and KiwiRail decided that the train-travelling side of the event needed some attention.

While the restored vintage RM31 railcar and a locomotive and heritage carriages heading to Hawke's Bay were in sparkling form, one of the stopover points along the way was not.

The Hastings Railway Station was in need of a makeover and with the festival of Deco getting closer, the Hastings District Council decided to call in some always willing volunteers to wield the brushes and rollers.

Hastings Host Lions president Ian Le Page's reply to the council's request was simple: "No problem."


With the council running a campaign to keep the railway corridor looking good, Mr Le Page and his colleagues were consulted about what was required a couple of weeks ago and the restoration wheels soon began turning.

KiwiRail provided the funds for the paint and council staff water-blasted and prepared the brick, wood and plasterwork.

Just after 8am on Saturday, about 25 of the club's 52 members arrived on the job - although there was one glitch as the paint delivery was running slightly late.

"But we got it pretty well done," Mr Le Page said.

"There's a bit more to do and we're looking at doing that on Wednesday."

The first of the trains roll into the Bay on Thursday.

Everyone involved was conscious that it was important for the passengers aboard the Deco specials to be greeted by a fine-looking station and platform frontage, Mr Le Page said.

"We've done a few jobs like this - it's all about doing something for the community."

When the paint dries, council staff will install murals that show historic railway scenes.

The Art Deco Trust has organised railcar journeys to Otane and Waipukurau, as well as various shuttle trips.

The Deco Delights Express, which is a restored diesel locomotive and historic carriages, will arrive from Paekakariki, having made several stops along the way, around noon on Saturday.